The veil thins, my dark little creatures! Hexennacht, the night of Witches, approaches. Also called Walpurgisnacht, the night of April 30th is a darker, wilder sister to Beltane– which is a nice holiday and all, but I ain’t Celtic.
On the opposite end of the year than October 31st; I think of Hallow’s Eve and Hexennacht as book ends, two sides to the same coin laid upon the mouth of the dead so that they may pay their way on Charon’s boat. A journey across the river Acheron. A voyage through the underworlds.
In Germany it’s believed that witches gather on the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz Mountains, for dark revels and communions with demons on the night before May Day.
This is a night of celebration, for the dead speak and the veil has thinned.
I will be celebrating Hexennacht on Sunday night and below you’ll find a skeleton outline of the ritual I will be using. Feel free to mad-lib it to your black heart’s content. Let me know if you do!
Whisper to the dead and they will whisper back, witches.
To begin, I cleanse myself with smoke or water, grounding and centering down into the earth, before casting a Triangle of Blood, Bone, and Shadow.
Dark One of Unknowable Depths. You whisper to me ancient secrets of magic and death. Stalking the space between worlds, you exist betwixt and between. Within the veil, between the flesh, is your wicked domain. Guide me through my Triangle as you guide me through the veil. Oh come and be my teacher.
Bloodied Warrior of Vicious Protection. Through the mightiness of my ancestral line, I know your name. Guardian of my mother’s mother, you are the protectress of ancient children. A creature of the venerated wild, mistress of tooth and claw. Ward my Triangle as you ward my Journey. Oh come and be my keeper.
Dreaded Enchantress of Infinite Wisdom. In your kingdom of obsidian my soul takes root, burrowing into wicked soil. You are the black serpent of the crossroads, snake witch, the deep darkness is yours to command. Reveal my Triangle as you reveal my shadow. Oh come and be my reflection.
I then invoke the wights and spirits of my house and land, as well as my own personal ancestors and beloved departed.
Wights of place! Of hearth and home! Of brick and beam! Of wood and stone! Heed my Triangle, drawn with power! I call upon you in this sacred hour!
Ancestors, beloved and departed- dead to us, but never gone. You who are called [list departed family and ancestral surnames]! Come, attend my rite!
For Hexennacht I will light a fire under the dark sky and throw in dried herbs to mingle with the smoke– sage, local henbit, and mandrake. I will beat my drum and sing, calling my ancestors to me. I will throw my runes and divine that which my mundane eyes cannot see. I will dance, widdershins, around my fire and I will pour out homemade mead for my ancestors to drink.
Dark revels are about on this night. Don your masks so that you may join in the celebrations, trick the spirits into believing you are one of them, because truly, on Hexennacht you are.
Open your ears and soul and eyes to the calls of the dead and the spirits.